1957

[The following entries have been transcribed from the minute books kept in Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge.]


The Annual Banquet of the Confraternity was held on the seventh day before the Kalends of February [25th Jan 1957], it being, as appointed, the Saturday nearest the feast of the Conversion of St. Paul. At 7.30 pm fratres gathered in Fr. Faux palatial rooms to take sherry, and at a little after 8.0 pm they adjourned to the Blundell Room to dine. As wine and good food lulled Confraternal senses, fratres became less aware that the guest speakers name was wrongly spelt on the menu, and that thereon escalope had become esealopé. By the soothing light of candles fratres heard of the wild dreams of their Princeps, of the amazement with which the outside world heard of regard their existence; they were transposed by the imagination of their Pontifex, and they were comforted by the close communion which Fr. Smail enjoyed with the Lady Clio. At 10.0 pm the Banquet rose to Y3 to Senatorial port. What secrets were disclosed in the height of confraternal fellowship? Was the Lady Clio by our sides? Had Fr. Casey’s previous absence been due really to a discussion with Master Abelard? Fratres remained until after midnight, leaving for the most part amply sated.

The opening rites were celebrated at 7.20 pm in Y11 by the Senate. Day had succeeded day. Confraternal activity too immense to be recorded here has occurred. The closing rites were performed Pridie the Nones of February. Between time Clio got about more than she has been accustomed to.

Signed:
D. Sanders (Magister Rotulorum)
J. M. Sergeant (Princeps)


The 336th meeting of the Confraternity was held pridie the Nones of February at 8.15 [25th Jan 1957] in Y3. The sacred opening rites, accompanied by the unprecedented dropping of the sacred scroll, were performed immediately after the closing rites for the protracted 335th meeting, and the minutes of the two previous meetings were read and speedily approved. The Princeps lamented the fact that no absent fratres had seen fit to present those present with an apology for absence; not, Clio forbid, because it was a breach of discipline, but because opportunity was lost to entertain and amuse the Confraternity. Are the days done when Confraternal apologies were committed to the archives as of lasting merit? The name of prospective frater, Mr. G. C. Thomson, proposed by Fr. Backwell and seconded by Fr. Sinnatt, was read out by the Magister in accordance with the Constitution, and then the Princeps took the unaccustomed step of advertising a smoking concert. Thus were the preliminaries prolonged, but the absence of Fr. Steele and other dissident fratres prevented the Lady Clio from perceiving a smoking Confraternity.

Fr. Harland’s paper took the form of a short sketch of the history of the press, with particular emphasis on the developing roles of the editor and the reported. It was in the questions which followed that the depths of Fr. Harland’s knowledge of newspaper affairs was revealed, a knowledge ranging from the history and organisation of the ‘Times’ to that of the ‘Daily Mirror.’ Fratres were left with the final idea that if they want the good, they must tolerate the bad.

The meeting ended at 10.15 pm with the celebration of the sacred closing rites.

Signed:
D. Sanders (Magister Rotulorum)
J. M. Sergeant (Princeps)


In its 47th year on the twelfth day before the Kalends of March at 8.15 pm [17th Feb 1957] in Y3, the Confraternity held its 337th meeting, to be remembered, in the words of the Princeps, as its first by “dignified concession to television and the cinema.” The minutes of the 336th meeting were approved; Fr. G. C. Thomson was initiated successfully despite a lamentable ignorance of the Latin (surely “you can get up now” was not part of the ritual prescribed by our Founding Patres); a note of apology for absence from Fr. Graham was not read because the Magister had left it behind and because Fr. Graham was present. Whereupon Fr. Smail appeared from his inner room, positioned with unspeakable efficiency a magic lantern in the centre of the room, instructed Fr. Slimmon in the presentation of the slides, and proceeded to address the Confraternity on ‘Three Crusading Castles.’

He recalled that the only previous occasion on which an advertised ‘paper’ had failed to be produced in his memory was when a speaker instructed a friend in his absence to read a relevant newspaper article to the Confraternity. This time however the Confraternity enjoyed an intriguing substitute. Fr. Smail’s acknowledged erudition on the subject of crusading warfare was enlivened by his personal acquaintance with the castle with which he was dealing; by his ability to show their relevance to the general course of medieval history; and by his own experience in the wake of the Crusaders. The wide discussion which followed showed that even the least academic of fratres had been stirred into interest.

The closing rites were celebrated at 10.30 pm.

Signed:
D. Sanders (Magister Rotulorum)
J. M. Sergeant (Princeps)


Record of the proceedings of the august Senate of the Confraternity at its meeting held in Y3 at 8.10 pm on the twelfth day before the Kalends of March [17th Feb 1957] in the 47th year of the Confraternity.

Fratres present:

M. Sergeant – Princeps Senatus
A. Wood – Pontifex Maximus
F. Sanders – Magister Rotulorum
Faux – Caeremonarius
L. Alexander – Comes
A. Barrass – Fabricius

91. G. C. Thomson, whose application for membership of the Confraternity was announced at the 336th meeting, was elected unanimously by the Senate, there having been no previous objections [Section 1 Article 5].

The august Senate adjourned at 8.14 pm for the 337th meeting.

Signed:
D. Sanders (Mag. Rot.)
D. Sanders (Princeps)


The annual guest meeting was held in the Blundell Room on the fifth day before the Nones of March [2nd March 1957], being the 339th 338th meeting to be held in the 47th Confraternal year. Privately the Senate performed the rites before the meeting, the opening and closing celebrations being held concurrently by special dispensation from the Lady Clio. She had revealed to the Pontifex in a deep trance produced by a midday communion in the Y3 shrine that she was particularly excited to be hearing a talk by one of her most distinguished followers, and that she would therefore prefer the adoration of her senatorial worshippers to be concentrated and quick. It was not for them to query her logic. The sacred rites were very concentrated and most piously quick.

Fr. Briggs, correct in sober suiting and magenta hose, addressed the meeting on ‘Chartism Reconsidered’. The depth and breadth of his knowledge fascinated fratres, many of whom were bound to admit that Fr. Briggs, sixteen years earlier, could not have been quite the name as they were now. But if hopes of future brilliant academic careers were dashed, fratres and their guests were memorably entranced by the sight of an original and analytic mind pressing on a different historical problem, an analysis which did not make the problem lose any of its humanity. Even those present with little previous knowledge of the subject, were captured by Fr. Briggs method. After a lively discussion and the Magister’s vote of thanks, the speaker expressed his delight at returning once more to Confraternal circles, and wished that he could do so more often.

With the meeting formally closed at 10.30 pm, Fr Beales invited the speaker and many fatres to his rooms, where the morning was greeted through a haze of mulled claret and pleasant conversation.

Signed:
D. Sanders (Mag. Rot.)
J. M. Sergeant (Princeps)

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